Cinnamon Sugar Pecans

How’s your week going? It been grey and raining here in Boston which is making for a slow week. I’ve been at the ice cream store, going to CrossFit and marathon watching Gilmore Girls. I was determined to watch the whole series before the new season was released on Netflix but the season has been released and I’m still only on season 2. I’m still chugging along, though!

Tonight I’m going to a book signing for Lexi’s Clean Kitchen. I’m so excited! I asked for her cookbook for Christmas but once I saw she was doing a few signings near me I decided I couldn’t wait and wanted to meet her and get my hands on that book!  It’s at the Whole Foods in Newton and I’m really looking forward to hearing her speak. I’ll let you guys know how it is!

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Anyways, these Cinnamon Sugar Pecans make a tasty, sweet treat! They would make perfect DIY holiday gifts in mason jars or as toppings for ice cream like we did! These are so easy and theres a good chance you already have the ingredients on hand. They seem a little dark in the pictures because they are. This Is Us was on and I forgot about them. They were in the oven for probably 20 minutes but I’ve tailored the recipe to my recommended 15 minutes. Let me know what you think!

 

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Creamy Herb Sauce

How was your Thanksgiving? Mine was great, filled with lots of yummy food and pie! I had to work overnight at the hospital but was able to go back to my parents house the next day to decorate gingerbread houses, a long standing tradition of ours. I spent the rest of the weekend relaxing and catching up with friends who were in town.

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I actually made this recipe a few weeks ago but had so many other things I wanted to share before Thanksgiving that I’m just getting around to sharing it. My initial goal was to make a dairy-free “cheese” sauce, but that didn’t work out. However, I was psyched with this final product.

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This dish is so savory and satisfying. I was inspired after spotting these hard-cider brats in Whole Foods and immediately wanted to pair them with the butternut squash noodles. I wanted to create a sauce to tie it all together and thats how this creamy herb sauce came to be. This dish is comforting and delicious. Enjoy!

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Ingredients:

2 tbsp of butter

1/2 tsp of garlic

1 cup cashew milk

1/2 cup of bone broth (or chicken broth)

1/4 tsp of rosemary

1/4 tsp of thyme

dash of salt and pepper

2 tbsp of nutritional yeast

1 tbsp of tapioca flour

I put my sauce over 1 package of butternut squash noodles and 4 hard cider brats

Directions:

  1. Place a sauce pan on medium heat and melt 1 tbsp butter. As soon as it is melted add in the garlic until fragrant.
  2. Next, add the cashew milk and bone both. Continue to stir with a whisk as you add in the rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper.
  3. Slowly add it the nutritional yeast and tapioca flour, continuing to stir as you add.
  4. Turn the burner to low and stir periodically as you prepare the rest of the dish.
  5. In a large frying melt the other tbsp of butter and toss in the butternut squash noodles. I use tongs to make sure they are well coated with the butter and cook evenly.
  6. I cut the brats in half (long-ways) and cook them on both sides. Most come already cooked but I like them to be browned on all sides.
  7. Add the sauce to the butternut squash noodles and toss to coat completely. Top with a sausage and enjoy!

 

Butternut Squash with Cranberries, Walnuts, and Bacon

Do you guys follow Lexi’s Clean Kitchen? I discovered her blog about a month ago and have been obsessed since. I’ve made a few of her recipes and all have turned out flawless and delicious. When I saw this recipe she posted the other day I was drooling. I decided to put my own spin on it.

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This dish would make a perfect last minute side dish for thanksgiving or for meal prepping. It’s simple and easy. The sweetness of the butternut squash next to the tartness of the cranberries is all tied together with the bacon. We served ours with some pork chops smothered in a balsamic/mustard/shallot/whateverGordonputinthere sauce. Anyways, this dinner was so good we literally high-fived like losers on the couch when we were done eating.

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Butternut Squash with Cranberries, Walnuts, and Bacon

Ingredients:

1lb butternut squash cut into bit sized pieces

2 tablespoons of oil

pinch of salt

pinch of pepper

1 cup of fresh cranberries

1 cup of walnuts

3 slices of bacon

bacon fat (whatever is left from cooking the bacon required for the recipe)

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Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375*
  2. Toss the butternut squash pieces and cranberries in oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and place in the oven for about 30 minutes or until the squash is fork tender.
  3. While the squash and cranberries are cooking, cook 3 slices of bacon in a frying pan until crispy.
  4. When the bacon is done, set aside and chop into small pieces when cool enough. Save the frying pan with the bacon fat in it.
  5. When the squash and cranberries are done, place them in the frying pan that has the bacon fat in it along with the bacon pieces and walnuts. Cook for about 5 minutes.
  6. Eat up!

Pumpkin bars

My mom makes these pumpkin bars every fall and they are my absolute favorite thing she bakes. I could probably eat an entire tray of them if I really wanted to. I love the sweet cake-y pumpkin bars covered with creamy, sugary goodness of a frosting. I wanted to create a cleaner version of these bars so I paleo-ized and de-glutened them. They aren’t exactly like my moms, but they definitely filled the craving for them. Still, I wouldn’t be mad if she had these on the dessert table at Thanksgiving! 😉

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Anyways, I did my best trying to make a cleaner version and got the thumbs up from the roommates and coworkers. Of note, they taste better after being chilled in the refrigerator overnight.

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Pumpkin bars 

Ingredients:

Bars:

1 15oz can of pumpkin

1 cup of palm shortening

1/3 cup of maple sugar

1/3 cup of maple syrup

2 cups of almond flour

2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp of cinnamon

1 tsp of  salt

1 tsp of baking soda

Frosting:

2 cups of cashews soaked

3/4 cup of palm shortening

2 tsp of vanilla extract

3 tablespoons of lemon juice

4 tablespoons of coconut flour

 

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Directions:

  1. Soak 2 cups of cashews in water at room temperature for at least 12 hours
  2. Preheat oven to 350
  3. Mix together the pumpkin, eggs, palm shortening, almond flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda
  4. Once the bar ingredients are mixed together, place in a greased jelly roll pan and put in the oven
  5. Place cashews and palm shortening for the frosting in the food processor until smooth. Transfer to a bowl or stand mixer and mix in vanilla, lemon juice and coconut flour
  6. Let the bars cool, frost, refrigerate and enjoy!

 

Taco Spaghetti Squash Bowls

Happy weekend scoopers! Did you all survive the week? Mine felt long. I think with the sun setting so early everything feels off. It’s pretty frustrating. I think next week I will need to be better about finding some routine and be sure I stay moving to keep my head in a good space! Dark + cold = easy to be bummed out! At least now it’s the weekend….time for a little scooping and “saving lives” as my mom says. At least I’ll have some free time on Sunday! Anyways, let’s talk food.

Tacos are my all time favorite food. My mom makes them every year for my birthday and usually uses Old El Paso. I wanted to “clean up” my taco obsession and came up with this spaghetti squash bowl. We topped ours with fresh guac and salsa from Whole Foods. Yum! It was an easy dinner to make and was way more filling than expected. Try it out and let me know what you think!

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Ingredients:

1 spaghetti squash

a little over a half pound of ground beef

3 tablespoons of Mexican seasoning (I use a blend I bought from Whole Foods)

1 red pepper

1 green pepper

1 large onion

salsa, guac, and any other fixin’s you’d like!

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400*
  2. Cut spaghetti squash in half the long ways and scoop out the seeds. Place in the oven (face down) for about 40 minutes
  3. Slice up the peppers and onion and toss with olive oil and a little sea salt. Place in top rack of oven until they are fork tender and a little charred
  4. While the squash and peppers are cooking, brown the meat in a large frying pan with the seasoning
  5. Use a fork to get the strands out in the spaghetti squash and top with the meat, peppers and onions, and whatever toppings you like!

Slow Cooker Apple Crisp

Years ago I made apple crisp in the crockpot. I can’t remember the recipe I followed but I remembered it was super good and I wanted to recreate a mostly paleo, completely gluten-free version!

This recipe isn’t perfect yet but it’s too good to keep to myself. The topping needs a little tweaking to become more crispy but the filling is on point and it still tasted delicious. Bonus: your kitchen will smell amazing.

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Crockpot Apple Crisp

Ingredients:

Filling:

5 apples cut in small pieces (I used gala because that’s what we had, but any kind would work)

1 tablespoon of lemon juice

1/2 tablespoon of cinnamon

1 teaspoon of nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1 tablespoon of tapioca flour

1/4 cup of maple syrup

 

Topping:

1/3 cup of walnuts

1/3 cup of pecans

1/3 cup of coconut flour

1 cup of almond flour

1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

4 tablespoons of butter cut in small cubes

3 tablespoons of melted butter

 

Directions
1. Place all the ingredients for the filling in the crock pot and stir so the apples are all coated
2. Put the walnuts and pecans in a food processor and grind until the nuts are small pieces but not finely ground
3. Mix nuts, coconut flour, almond flour and cinnamon together in a bowl. Add in 4 tablespoons of cold butter cut into cubes
4. Place topping on top of the apple mixture
5. Cover and cook on high for 2 hours
6. Pour 3 tablespoons of melted butter on top and gently mix together or “rake” in with a fork
7. Cover again and cook on high for another hour and a half
8. Turn slow cooker off and let sit uncovered for 30 minutes
9. Serve with almond milk ice cream and enjoy!

 

Off Duty: Sunday coffee date outfit

Welcome to my first “Off duty” post! In these post I’m hoping to give you updates about what I’m up to when I’m not scooping or at the hospital. Think of it as a way for us to “catch up.” I have been listing a bunch of new recipe ideas that are inspiring me to get back to blogging consistently but it’s fun to talk about things other than food too!

A few updates…..I’m still living in Somerville, working as a nurse part-time and managing an ice cream store part-time. I still live with my best friend, Monica, but we have a couple new additions….

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Gordon moved in and we bought a kitten! Meet Penelope! She’s not the bulldog I’ve been dreaming about for years but she’s low maintenance and I’m the favorite so we’re keeping her.

Another update is that I’ve been doing CrossFit for a few months now and I love it! My CrossFit gym offers bootcamp classes and I’ve been going about twice a week. I feel stronger and leaner and it’s amazing. But more on that another time!

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Today I’m bringing you my first fashion post! I’ve done a review of a Stitch Fix before (…might be time for another one) but this is my first “I tried to put an outfit together by myself” post. Since my jobs require me to wear scrubs or jeans and a t-shirt, I try to take advantage and break out all the accessories and non practical footwear when I have a full day off! This weekend I had to work overnight at the hospital on Saturday but Gordon and I went for a coffee date and a walk on the community path once I woke up on Sunday. It was the perfect fall day in Boston and we tried to take advantage by getting outside.

I’ve been loving all the fall trends coming out and wanted to share the outfit I put together for our afternoon on Sunday! I’ve linked similar, if not the actual, items below. Quite of few of these pieces were bought a season or two ago so I tried my best.

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Glasses / Similar earrings / Similar vest / Same purse (different color) / Similar purse / Flannel / Jeans / Similar boots / Similar boots 

These are my newest pair of glasses. I got them in the Spring and have gotten so many compliments! It’s pretty funny to me because this is the first pair in 12! years that I picked out without any assistance from mom/best friend/boyfriend. I always appreciate input since I’m not the one staring at my face all day, but it was such an ego booster to have my most complimented pair be the one I picked out on my own. These are the ones I was wearing before this pair.

I scored very similar earrings at J.Crew factory about a month ago and am obsessed! They’re big enough without being overbearing or in the way. Mine are a little more white and go with everything so I wear them often!

I got my vest from Gap last season. It has a big furry hood and is so so so warm. A little tip, I find that Gap outwear can run short, but they usually sell tall online! That’s what I did with this vest. I linked a similar one above!

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This flannel I actually just picked up this past weekend. Usually I buy brighter ones but was drawn to these dark colors for fall. I didn’t have time to try it on but was so excited when I got home and it was long and soft. And it’s under $20!

I bought these jeans years ago at Kohl’s for like $15. They are what made me fall in love with Lauren Conrad’s clothing line. I love the patterns she uses and everything fits true to size. It’s affordable and really good quality, I’ve never had any issues with any pieces. She also makes some really cute jewelry!

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Confession time: I bought these boots on clearance at Sears in high school. Ha ha! I’ve loved them so much that I haven’t been able to get rid of them, even after all this time. I love that they hit right at the knee and have a small enough heel that they are comfortable but still give me a little height! I love the above the knee suede boot trending currently happening this fall but haven’t been able to justify buying another pair of boots, so I’m happy I’ve kept these. I obviously couldn’t find them online, but linked similar ones above!

And….just for kicks….some outtakes from my first attempt at a fashion post…

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Hopefully I’ll get better at this! I’ve got some delicious (and easy) recipes planned for Wednesday and Friday posts so check back then!